The Raven’s Perch online journal published four of my poems yesterday

Spring Coming in Maine

Sun screams its bright.  Rises up straight 
		despite clouds,
reflects brazen
		on snow.

Not the bold of bright tulips
the pale of daffodil— or any color, really
			but imagination 
fueled by intense light.

		One clear blue patch peeks
through overcast skies 
			and, in an instant,
my eyes remember and invent 
			the rumor of spring.

Anticipating the '91 Chevy Truck

Is he coming?
The "indestructible 350"
has a familiar rumble.
Triggers me to peer out 
windows, take down 
steps two at a time.  
The truck pulls up the long hill.
I breathe deeply. A week of futile fears
and uneasy sleep disappears 
with the dust in the driveway.

Just to see the laugh in his eyes,
touch his bare head, hold those
scratchy curled fingers,
his voice warm and cranky.

The door creaks when it opens
like my favorite song.

Hope in the days of Covid-19

In the pale morning, hope
is a child, 	willing to try anything.

At the grocery store, 
arrowed aisles, sentries, 
sanitizer advertise 
the danger of getting 
		too up-close.

Eyes peer over masks—suspicious?
Afraid? Angry?
Hard to tell, but 
	hope leaks through feeble cloth..

Do this, don't do that
wears patience thin as masks. 

Home again, safe enough
alone.  		Keep busy through
the list of daily do-this, do- that,
Hope slouches in a kitchen chair.

At night, though, 
Hope is 
About 2 a.m. my mood
drapes itself 
     over the 

Only get through the dark bits.

I sit up, stretch my neck, remember
dawn comes	 			

Let the clock play out.
The seconds— each heart beat 
	 the fragment 
of a long minute.  

The birds begin their babble.
An uneasy light 
drifts up.
If I'm lucky I sleep.

If not, she yanks me up 
in morning's 	

Water Levels
			for Karin

We were friends, but different.
I loved her loud laughter as it ripped
raucous down staid hallways. Proper
professionals tried to shush her.  Didn't work.

She admired my cooking, the
let's take it on the road 	headful
of ideas, my penchant for planning.  

We both worshiped the water. Once
visited Niagara.  Shouldered our way as close 
as we could get.  Got really wet.
		stood gaping
at the spectacle.

Each spring we skipped lunch 
to follow the river 
from the high pond
	the higher falls, 
		 lower falls, 
caught wild spray and crashes, 
	down the 
		ripple of rapids.
all the way 
to the Kennebec River.

Sat on the same rock together
Wind blew our hair, 
voices drowned out
from falls 	to rapids, 
	back 		and forth, 
grinned at each other.
Not even a drizzle now. 

She retired to Florida, 
		 I helped her cart 
it all off to Goodwill. 
The rock is there still.


I hope you will join me in celebrating.

After years of work and lots of rejections, I am pleased to announce the publication of my first poetry chapbook: Not All Are Weeping. My small book of poems will be published by Main Street Rag sometime in the spring or summer of 2023. Here is a link to a short video of me reading a few poems and talking about the book: Listen here

Only another month to get this book at the pre-publication price

32oto by Freddie Ramm on Pexels.com

Another poem published in The Raven’s Perch online journal this week

bright fruit

After months spent alone each day the same,
what a delight of colors, smells, textures.
Avocados and blood oranges, mounds of lettuces
Bright lemons yellow and brown plantains.
And all this bustle.  Strangers amble
up and down aisles, or hurry, disgusted
or excited. Arguing, articulating a point
with grand sweep of arms.      Hard to shop
with all the flash and flap
                        finally slide into checkout.

I’d like to touch the weathered cheeks
of the woman─ eyes downcast─
who pulls into line behind me. A mother,
grandmother, perhaps,
                        she lives alone.  I can tell
by the half dozen items in her cart.
I’ll bet she knows precisely how much money
Is held in that purse she hugs
                        tightly to her side.
She is thinking if I put back
that fresh orange
            there will be enough.
I imagine        
            a life spent stepping aside
for husband, children, neighbors
pushing her wants away.
            As a rock worn by relentless
                        sea, bit by bit
she recedes.
When I place the plastic divider
onto the conveyer,     
a small gesture to allow her groceries,
she lifts eyes to mine and smiles             a surprise
the bright of a cut watermelon

a chance to spring

a quiet murmur that begs—
I languish­­­­­­–    
                        just listen.
                        My rocking chair the site
of delights—- a coffee, warm buttered bread,
sweater and soft slippers, swaddled
in a blanket of rain light.
Things needing to be done. Shush!  Here is
                        a rainy excuse for meandering
spent flowers,              sweet kisses— heady words.
Serious plans
            are for bright days.
After, I wander in secret places, mossy paths,
             see tiny violets hidden in grass. 
through fields
            I ponder tiny bluet and starflower.
                        After violent shear of a mower,
punched-flat violet stems spring right back up
                                                I can’t say that
I spring back up anymore
but simply allow          the stem 
to rise              slowly 

Published in The Hopper Magazine, May 2022


The Marriage House

                        A boy in a red cap rides his bike to the baseball field


                                                upside down

            for the girl who has answers to all the questions in chemistry class.

                                    They marry and ride home with a

            string of trout caught at Uncle Gus’s pond     hanging downside up like flags from                         the back of the bike                      to build a house together.

            He brings white pine trees, cozies up to a local watering hole,

                        rides a clever motorized bicycle

                                                            (which he pedals furiously when a car goes by).

                         She contributes a bright green          

                                                                                    and bitter lime marmalade,

                                                her grandmother’s silverware

                                                and the            sure path to salvation.

                        They both hammer and nail the thing together          

            He fusses about construction,             she slap

                                    dashes everything,      but the                         upside is                     

                                                they start building.

His beaten-up stuffed donkey,                       her London Fog raincoat,

                        his clam-shaped boat,                         her Steinway grand persona

his mother’s perfect chicken

                                                                        her father’s terrifying judgments.

                        For the downside of lumber they use

                                    his lies,

                                                her violence,

            his avoidance,                         her arrogance.  Reload

the secret fears

                                    they vomit up at night

                                                for nails.

                                                                                        The house grows.  No one                  notices

                        as termites       tear their way              up

            from the worried foundation,                         casually chew through

                         coffee cups thrown,               decisions smashed

                        boxed up feelings

                                                 in wine glasses and butter dishes

                                                            stashed away for future use.

            Holes turn into

                        caverns and     unsure              floors,

                                    lower levels eaten into                       

                                    l           a          c          e.

                                    One day walking         up        the steps

                        she plunges through rotten cotton batting and dead bugs,



                                    into an unexpected

                                    cavity filled

                                                with his steeled feelings and pretend promises.                                

He finds a place

                                                                        at the other end of the basement

            with her abandoned playthings–  desires, plans,

                        sincerities wrapped up in little boxes with bright paper. 

            They ask                                  what else is hidden here?

Published in Spank the Carp publication, December 2021

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